Nestlé will use satellites to document deforestation in its palm oil supply chain
Due to its low cost and long shelf life, palm oil remains the most widely produced vegetable oil in the world despite its environmental controversy. Palm oil production is largely concentrated across Malaysia, Indonesia and New Guinea. In these areas, rainforests are currently being cleared and burned to make room for oil palms, which significantly contributes to climate change and damages the ecosystem, leaving many animals without a habitat.
Amongst other popular brands such as Danone, Nestlé has recently shown a greater commitment to sustainable sourcing, and the company has set a goal to have a deforestation-free global supply chain by 2020. As of last year, the company the company claimed to have achieved 63%, but to further its efforts it has decided to target its disruptive palm oil supply chain. The plan is to employ the Starling satellite service, developed by Airbus and The Forest Trust, to provide high-resolution radar and satellite imagery showing land cover changes and forest disturbances across the entire supply chain. Head of operations, Magdi Batato believes the program to be a real “game-changer” for achieving supply chain transparency. Nestlé hopes to extend this to the pulp and paper supply chain in 2019.
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A truck named Vera
On Wednesday, Swedish automaker Volvo displayed its new electric, self-driving truck called Vera. The company said that the truck was developed to address the issue of the truck driver shortage and booming ecommerce. At present, the cab-less vehicle remains under development and Volvo has chosen to not comment yet on when it will be made commercially available. Vera can be attached to any standard trailer and carry up to 32 tons of cargo. The company has also taken certain safety measures in ensuring that the truck operates at a lower speed than manned vehicles.
Volvo’s vision is not for it to replace all drivers on the road, but rather to replace drivers for particularly repetitive journeys or tasks. It expects that soon the autonomous trucks will be deployed in confined areas such as ports and logistics centers. Michael Karlsson, head of autonomous solutions at Volvo trucks, said that the trucks would be an efficient solution for places like ports that currently rely on daytime shifts, enabling them to run all hours, thereby increasing overall productivity and optimizing the flow of goods.
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Christian Laang claims blockchain isn’t ready for the global supply chain
Earlier this week Christian Laang, CEO and co-founder of start-up Tradeshift, made a rather bold statement that the somewhat overhyped blockchain technology still isn’t ready to support the global supply chain as is expected. The digital invoicing start-up supports companies by helping them to send and pay invoices more efficiently using software.
Global supply chains run thousands upon thousands of transactions per second and though he acknowledged that blockchain can prove to be useful for identification or certification purposes and the like, he says it isn’t yet a viable solution for the “main transactional scenarios”. According to Laang, the problem with blockchain is that it is not a high-performance technology, it’s costly to implement and furthermore difficult to build and scale for such operations. The main point to be made is that although blockchain is heralded for its potential uses, it is still a very new technology and surveys indicate that it will take up to another 5 to 10 years before it is widely adopted.
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Have a great weekend